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USFWS Wolf Livestock Demonstration Project Grants

posted Apr 26, 2015, 10:31 AM by Scott Slocum   [ updated Apr 26, 2015, 11:35 AM ]
4/24/2015
Re: USFWS Wolf Livestock Demonstration Project Grants.

Thank you for your response to my letter warning against legislative Gray Wolf management. I support scientific Gray Wolf management (including independent peer review, and excluding political and industrial overrides).

Your reply referred me to the USFWS Wolf Livestock Demonstration Project Grant program (FederalGrants 2014), which, as you correctly pointed out, is available "to help farmers and ranchers deploy preventative measures against wolf predation and to compensate them when losses do occur."

You should know that of that two-part federal program, one part has been ignored by the State of Minnesota Department of Agriculture and Department of Natural Resources.

Unfortunately, Minnesota officials have declined to support Minnesota livestock producers through "preventative measures against wolf predation." (Smith 2010, USFWS 2013, USFWS 2014). Whether this is due to the personal beliefs of these officials about the effectiveness of these measures, or to the stress of the political and industrial pressures these officials find themselves under; they have chosen to ignore non-lethal measures, and concentrate instead on lethal measures and compensation funding.

Minnesota livestock producers are not required to take precautions to protect their livestock from depredation. All they need to do is call the federal trappers to remove all of the wolves from the area, and then file for compensation for their losses.

You're right to expect non-lethal precautions to be a precondition for lethal control and a requirement for compensation, but that's not the way things are.

But let's get back to the beginning; I wrote to ask you not to short-circuit the process of Gray Wolf delisting with a legislative workaround.

The proper process of Gray Wolf delisting includes an orderly transfer of management activities to the States, according to their Wolf Management Plans. Minnesota has a decent Plan, but as a federal court has now pointed out, it wasn't complete, it wasn't examined for completeness, and it wasn't followed completely. It skipped Zone B, and it skipped non-lethal depredation control.

We need to follow a proper process of Gray Wolf delisting that can stand up to legal and scientific examination. I hope you will look into the matter further, and support that process.


References

FederalGrants. 2014. “Wolf-Livestock Demonstration Project Grant Program (WLDPGP).” Federal Grants. 

Smith, Paul. 2010. "Feds Announce New Wolf Depredation Funds to Wisconsin, Other States." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, April 1. 

USFWS. 2013. FY 2014 Wolf-Livestock Demonstration Project Grants. U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Indexed at 

USFWS. 2014. FY 2014 Wolf-Livestock Demonstration Project Grants. U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service. 


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